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April Fools Financial Tips for Parents

Written By: Kevin Reardon, CFP®

Hello April Words

There may be no greater challenge in the world for parents than to raise healthy, productive and financially astute children. All ages can test a parent’s patience to the maximum and can frequently lead to the brink of insanity with their immature decision making. In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, enclosed are a few financial planning tips parents could employ to teach their children a few exaggerated, not-so-good “lessons”.

Please Note: The author was neglected as a child (not at all true), raised three no-good children (actually my kids are pretty awesome), and has a warped sense of humor (this is 100% accurate). The below comments are simply meant to make people chuckle.

Saving and Investing

Rather than living below your means and investing a portion of each paycheck in a 401k, you should instead invest in a Porsche 911S with the rationale that anything with four numbers followed by a letter must be a good thing. Not only are cars a great investment (not!), you will look cool when you go to the drugstore or Bridge Club. Besides, why not spend your children’s inheritance while they are around to see you enjoy it!

Use your Robinhood account to day-trade popular meme stocks and cryptocurrency. Investing for the long-term is not very fun and if you lose money, you can rely on your children to bail you out.


From a budgeting standpoint, you can move in with your adult children to save on housing costs. While you’re at it, be sure to turn on all their lights, radio, blender, TV and proceed to leave for the day. Also, be sure to forget to turn off the sprinkler in the yard as they had asked.

If they happen to place loose change in a piggy bank throughout the year to pay for Christmas gifts or other purposeful expenses, simply take the money and leave an IOU-Nothing note.

As their parent, you are certainly entitled to an allowance. Ask the kids for a weekly stipend so you can go to the movies, buy clothes, upgrade your iPhone 21 to a more acceptable model, go to dinner with friends and fulfill a host of other ‘needs’, all during a time you choose not to work.


Rather than occasionally gifting your children money, perhaps you send them an invoice for their lifetime of expenses. The inflation adjusted cost of braces will be more than enough to pay for that trip to Europe you’ve been thinking about.

Tax Planning

Claim your adult children and grandchildren as tax deductions, when they are still dependent on you for support. Lobby Congress to move the age restriction for claiming the child tax credit to age 60.

College Planning 

Tell your children you expect them to pay for you to go back to college. Proceed to not go to class, stay up late every night drinking Mountain Dew and playing poker, and then look confused when they find out you flunked out. You can also mention they could afford to pay for your grandchildren’s education without assistance if they didn’t spend so much money on a fancy house, nice cars, exotic vacations and $200/week on Starbucks.

Long Term Care

Threaten to take your children to a nursing home, as they have proven they are unable to take care of themselves or to be mentally competent.


Go with your children on all family vacations. Be unappreciative and pout throughout every stage of the trip, sit in the back seat and ask “are we there yet” from the moment you leave the driveway, and tease each other until they threaten to turn the car around and go home. Once you reach your destination, be sure to say “give me, give me, give me” and act like an entitled little angel.

Estate Planning and Inheritance

Rather than have a Will or Living trust that administrates your assets when you are gone, instead treat the disposition of your assets like a scavenger hunt. You can leave clues throughout the house, indicating you have buried millions exactly 20 paces from the prettiest tree in the neighborhood. Don’t forget to open accounts at 73 different banks so your children have an opportunity to learn more about the banking system.

As for the beneficiaries of your retirement accounts and life insurance policies, perhaps you name your grandchildren instead. You have already given your children too much money. Besides, this will increase the likelihood your money will be better invested.

When considering naming your children to be Power of Attorney to handle your financial affairs, you might instead consider naming Bernie Madoff. Even his investors received some money back from their investments, whereas your children have never repaid you.

Regarding your Power of Attorney for Healthcare, you might want to think twice before electing a child who ate worms and neglected to brush their teeth throughout their freshman year of college because you weren’t there to remind them.

Insurance Planning

You may want to cancel any life insurance you own after realizing this is a strong incentive for your children to kill you.

Disability Insurance

The life insurance industry generally will not issue a disability insurance policy on a person simply because they oversleep, underachieve and generally can’t function on their own.

Charitable Planning 

You have hoped that your children would grow up and have children of their own. Only then will they understand the true meaning of charity – the concept of giving away all your money and expecting nothing in return.

All kidding aside, our children are our most precious gift. As parents, we are called to continually guide them throughout life’s many challenges. Keep in mind, the way in which we do this changes over time.  As my children have gotten older, I’ve found open-ended questions to be a better guide relative to making direct statements. And if sarcasm or a dark sense of humor works best, send them this blog post to show them what their future could look like!